- Booked as part of our package with Nick’s adventures.
- There’s only one plug to charge devices, so bring charged power banks.
- No Wi-Fi/Signal, a good place to deconnect.
We stayed at the Refugio Los Volcanes for one night. Great room, private shower, hammocks and good food!
🚲 Getting there
Three hour drive from Santa Cruz, including 20 minutes of bumpy road and 20 minutes of jeep.
Two days and one night, but if you enjoy relaxing in the wild, two nights is perfect.
A walk with sloths and monkeys 🐒
Our adventure started at 8AM in our hotel in Santa Cruz where Hugo, our guide, picked-us up. Before reaching the national park, we did a stop after 30 minutes drive at the Parque Urbano de Preservacion Ecologica La Madre.
It’s essentially a big reserve in the city, where you can walk around and spot some fauna. With our guide and the local staff, we walked around for one hour and spots 5 sleepy sloths in the trees and a bunch of monkeys.
Reaching the refugio 🛣
From the sloths, we carried on our drive for two hours until the beginning of the track to access the refugio. The driver then brought us at the top of the mountain (count 20 minutes of bumpy road), where we enjoyed a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountain and the lodge down below the valley. The refugio staff was waiting for us with their Jeep to bring us down on the other side of the mountain on a super steep road for another 20 minutes.
Upon arrival, we checked-in our room and went in the communal area to get lunch. The room was quite basic, but very clean with a lot of attention for details. There was no plug to charge your phone in the room, but you can do it at the charging station nearby the communal area.
After finishing our amazing and frugal lunch, we discussed with our guide the schedule of the day. There’s a bunch of hikes you can do around, from very easy (40 minutes) to very hard (7 hours). Not being a huge fan of long hike, we’ve opted for a medium one the first day, and two easy one the following day.
Parrots hike and night hike 🦉
Our first hike was called Senda Loro, at took us around 3 hours of walking at a very relaxed pace. We stopped many times on the way to learn about local fruits and plants. We’ve spotted a lot of parrots and monkeys. Toward the two thirds of the hike, we reached a wonderful viewpoint where we saw a lot of parrots flying in the sky. Make sure to start this hike around 3PM to reach the viewpoint around 5PM, best time to spot the parrots.
We then went back to the lodge, got some beers and a delicious dinner, and went for a quick night walk in the jungle of 30 minutes with our guide. That was pretty cool, walk in the dark, and we spot a lot of frogs and spiders.
Waterfall, mirador and swim 🏊
Second day, we woke up with calm, got breakfast and started our two easy hikes. The first one, called Senda Las Tres Cascadas, was about checking out three waterfalls as you can guess. It took us about one hour of chill walk to complete it. Not much wildlife to spot besides some birds, but nice river views.
We then carried on to Senda Orquideas where we saw some flowers and orchids. There’s an optional extra hike that we did on the way to a viewpoint, 20 steep minutes extra, which worth it 100%. From there, we admired a stunning view of all the cliffs and the lodge below.
After lunch and hammock siesta, we did a little swim in the nearby waterfall before heading back to Santa Cruz to our beloved Hotel Veronica for the night!
Overall, we had a blast there. We saw beautiful landscapes, easy hikes and a lot of wildlife. It’s a nice place in the middle of nowhere to relax for few days and enjoy the nature.